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2012 will mark Sam Michael’s first Formula 1 campaign as McLaren Sporting Director, having departed his role of Williams Technical Director before the end of last season. In his first three months, the Australian claims to have been impressed by the working environment.
Michael has held a minimal role into the base structure of the new MP4-27, which was launched on Wednesday, as it was already 90 percent complete by the time he joined the outfit. However, he is excited by the team’s capabilities this year.
“I’m really proud to be working for McLaren,” he stated. “It is a big family; a lot of the people here take a lot of care of relationships, obviously externally, but internally as well. It’s much more than what I expected it to be. One of the drivers mentioned, ‘Strength and depth’ – having just started in this company I do have the benefit of being able to observe what that is.
“The one thing that really strikes you is the academic level within the engineering group. It is the biggest strength of this company. This strength in depth is not something you buy off the shop floor; it is something which is instilled in this by the heads of this company over many, many years and you can’t invent it, it’s something that is engrained in the company. Everything so far has been really possible and I’m looking forward to Melbourne.”
Having worked for Williams between 2001 and 2011, Michael admits that he hopes to see his old employers enjoy an improved year:
“Just to say quickly, Williams is a fantastic team with a lot of heritage and I wish them all the best for this year. I’m sure they’ll return to where they’re meant to be.”
Next week, Michael will travel to Jerez ahead of testing which begins on Tuesday.
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